AO3 News

February 2015 Newsletter, Volume 88

Published: 2015-03-06 12:09:28 -0500

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. LEGAL MOVES

Legal submitted the comments in support of our Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemption petition with the U.S. Copyright Office. This submission contained 93 pages of supporting content in appendices, and was part of the every-three-year process of renewing the exemption that makes it legal for fan video makers to break encryption on DVDs to create their work. This process will continue in coming months and, as always, these documents are available for fans to view on the OTW website.

Around the same time, OTW Legal joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation in filing an amicus brief seeking rehearing in the case of Davis v. Electronic Arts, a case that deals with the relationship between free expression and right-of-publicity law.

Legal also had a few projects relating to the information part of our advocacy mission. They created two educational posts on fair use and misconceptions about it for Fair Use Week, as well as another about the recent phenomenon of Tumblr account deletions. Legal also responded to a few media requests for interviews.

Legal's working with a number of organizations to prepare a letter to the U.S. Congress regarding copyright policy. And besides helping several individual fans with queries about the law and their fan projects, they helped the OTW purchase the domain name "fandom.org".

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology started February with Release 0.9.46, which focused on resolving January's spam issues and allowed them to re-enable the Archive's invitation queue. They followed up with two more releases that included a variety of enhancements and bug fixes before finally wrapping up February releases with a brand new homepage and Favorite Tags feature, which were received with overwhelming positivity. 1,500 Favorite Tags were created in the first 12 hours alone!

The Archive also reached 17.5 million kudos during February and has now passed half a million registered users! If you don't have an account yet, here are some reasons you might want one. The @AO3_Status Twitter account also flew past the 25,000-follower mark with 27,000 and counting.

Support has been a little bit busy with 780 tickets in January, and received about 550 tickets in the first three weeks of February. Abuse received roughly 350 tickets in February. They have recruited for new members this month, and are currently in the process of sorting through their most recent applicants. Thanks to all that applied.

Tag Wrangling answered some questions from users on Twitter and helped Support respond to several tickets. Wranglers continued to help each other out by providing translations for tags in many different languages. Additionally, some new wrangling merit badges have been added to their just-for-fun collection on the OTW's internal documentation wiki.

III. PROJECT NEWS

Open Doors announced the moves to the AO3 of the Monaboyd.net and Table for Three archives. They also continued to work with moderators of pending and in progress archives. Content Policy finalized a proposal to revise the Open Doors terms of service with Open Doors.

Translation worked with Communications on International Fanworks Day, preparing several news post translations, and were happy to see the celebrations were a success! They have also been restructuring their glossaries and all language teams are working on discussing the new terms. Our team Portuguese has also split in two to better cover language variations, leading to new teams for European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. Translation also started testing a new committee-wide team chat tool, which has already provided improvements in their day-to-day communication.

Communications was hard at work last month preparing for International Fanworks Day events and publicity. Our staff has begun planning for April Showers so if you have any suggestions of older fandoms to highlight, please contact us.

Wiki is also planning for April Showers, and ideas for specific challenges were proposed in a chat held on February 21st. The Fanlore twitter account participated in International Fanworks Day by retweeting a number of IFDrabble submissions.

Fanhackers has been working to induct two new volunteers and is brainstorming ways to develop the fan studies bibliography into a more useful resource. Journal is hard at work on production for the March and June issues.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership is excited to be training nine new staff members and are looking forward to the next drive which will happen on May 1-6. They are currently working on theme related issues and hope to have it nailed down soon.

Elections has been busy conducting a small-scale test for our preferred voting software option and writing reports about its functions and suitability. They’ve also started cleaning up the Elections website and writing instructions for how Elections team members can post there.

Strategic Planning just finished collating all feedback offered to them on the first draft of the OTW strategic plan, and are putting together a second draft. They plan to have a second review period, so once the new draft is released in March there will be another three-week discussion and feedback period.

Strategic Planning is in the process of training three new staffers and a new chair. They hope OTW volunteers and supporters alike feel able to come to them with any questions or feedback about the strategic planning process.

New board director Jessica Steiner began holding open office hours once a week. The OTW Board continues holding the open session of their weekly meeting in the OTW's Public Discussion chatroom although hours have been changing in the past month in an effort to accommodate the different timezones of its members. Board's meeting minutes are always available on the OTW website.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting prepared and opened recruitment for four roles this month, while inducting the new recruits from the previous round, including welcoming new staff of their own. They said farewell to departing personnel, answered questions about recruitment and volunteering, helped people with their access to tools, and provided feedback on proposals.

New Committee Staff: C. Ryan Smith (Volunteers & Recruiting, Development & Membership), 2 other Volunteers & Recruiting, Jillian Jacobs (Development & Membership), Nica Dobles (Development & Membership), DeeCharlotte (Development & Membership), Alex Carlin (Development & Membership) & Marian H. Dews (Development & Membership), 3 other Development & Membership, and 6 Translation staffers
New Communications Volunteers: Kat St Pete
New Translator Volunteers: Marta Cardoso, Noura, and 4 others

Departing Committee Staff: Meep (Support), Megan Cummings (Open Doors), Elliot Oberholtzer (Translation), Ehryn (Support), Jennifer Radecki (Communications)
Departing Workgroup Members: 1 AO3 Documentation volunteer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Cassandra Chan
Departing Translator Volunteers: birggitt, Carpelia, Hirannis, DeeCharlotte, timetowakeup, and 5 others.

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

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Release 0.9.51: Change Log

Published: 2015-03-01 04:50:18 -0500

This release includes a few minor bug fixes and enhancements.

Credits

  • Coders: james, Lady Oscar, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Sarken
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, Michelle Dong, Scott

Details

  • Due to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, we require users to confirm they are over 13 years old when creating an account. However, the wording we used could easily be mistaken to mean users had to be 14. We've rephrased it to be clearer that users only need to be 13 years plus one day old to create an account.
  • There were Download links on work drafts; however, attempting to actually download the draft would give an error because we are unable to generate downloads of draft works. We've removed the links.
  • Buttons like "Favorite Tag" and "Subscribe" had more space around them than other kinds of buttons. We've tidied that up.
  • When accessing a work in an anonymous collection, our Abuse team was previously able to see the name of the work's creator. However, this information went missing at some point. We've put it back, and now the work's creator will be able to see their name on the anonymous work as well (it will appear as "Anonymous [username]" or "Anonymous [pseud (username)]").
  • RSpec -- one of our automated testing tools -- was out of date. We've updated to the latest version.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Table for Three is Coming to the AO3

Published: 2015-02-27 12:11:39 -0500

Banner of two men and a woman in an embrace with the title 'Table for Three a Triofic Archive'

The Archive of Our Own (AO3) welcomes Table for Three, a Harry Potter archive dedicated to the Harry/Ron/Hermione ship!

In this post:

Background explanation

Table for Three was founded as the definitive archive dedicated to the Harry Potter Trio Ship, featuring stories in which Harry, Hermione and Ron are involved with each other romantically. (This may be best summed up by a note on the homepage: If you're looking for the three primary characters of “Harry Potter” in a great writhing puppy pile, you've got to the right place.)

In recent years, traffic and submissions to the archive have dwindled to near-non existence, and it’s become difficult for the mod to justify the considerable expense of keeping the archive open. To prevent these works from being lost, he contacted Open Doors to give them a new home on the Archive of Our Own.

Open Doors will be working with Jonathan Andrew Sheen, the archive mod, to import Table for Three into a separate, searchable collection with its own identity. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs. We will begin importing works from Table for Three to the AO3 collection in March 2015.

What does this mean for creators who have work on Table for Three?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your Table for Three works there, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (For instructions on mass-adding works to the new collection on the AO3, Table for Three, please see the Open Doors website.)

2. If you don’t have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (For instructions on importing works and adding them to the Table for Three collection, please see the Open Doors website.)

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one, as well as assistance importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Once your account is set up, let us know your AO3 name, and we can transfer your works to you.)

4. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (If you would not mind them being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too--we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.)

All works archived on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with the creator’s name in the byline of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work. When all works have been accounted for, the Open Doors committee will set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Table for Three account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's fantastic; if not, we will work with the Table for Three mod to confirm your claims.)

If you still have questions...


If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Table for Three on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Table for Three!

- The Open Doors team

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Release 0.9.49: Change Log (New Homepage!)

Published: 2015-02-25 14:22:13 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Sarken \o/
  • Code reviewers: Elz, james_
  • Testers: james_, Lady Oscar, mugenmine, mumble, Nerine Luna Cyran, Sammie J., Sara H., Scott

Details

New Features

  • We made the Archive homepage more useful for guests by listing available fandom categories to browse, highlighting recent news posts, and pointing out the benefits of creating an account. For logged-in users, we added a random selection of their marked-for-later works, the latest unread comments from the inbox, and a list of favorite tags.
  • With the new Favorite Tags feature, you can now pin up to 20 canonical tags (fandom, character, relationship, etc.) to the homepage, so you can always access your most frequently visited tags when logged in. To add a Favorite Tag, simply go to the tag's work listing (e.g. Polyamory) and select the "Favorite Tag" button. A link back to the tag's work listing will immediately be added to your homepage.

Inbox Fixes

  • We were experiencing intermittent problems with deleted works/chapters leaving behind "ghost comments" in some users' inboxes. Because these comments counted as unread comments, but couldn't be deleted or marked read, users could be left with a permanently incorrect inbox count. We think we've tracked down the cause for this and fixed the bug now.
  • When paging back in the inbox and deleting an old comment, users would get redirected to the first page after successful deletion. Now they'll stay on the page they were on.
  • While a work is in an anonymous collection, comments left by its creator are displayed as "Anonymous Creator", with a dedicated icon that's different from the Archive default icon. The icon wasn't used in the inbox view for anonymous comments; now it is!

Misc. Fixes

  • When subscribing to or unsubscribing from a work, series, or user, the page would previously reload with a success message. Now we're using AJAX to handle these tasks, which saves us a page reload. \o/
  • It was impossible to delete a work from your history with JavaScript disabled (you'd get an Error 404 when trying). Now it works!
  • Canonical tags have a separate name we use for alphabetical sorting, so tags like "The Fandom" will be alphabetized by "F" instead of "T." Some older tags were missing this name, though, so we added it in order to make it possible to alphabetize users' Favorite Tags lists.
  • Fixed an issue with some forms having white-on-white text when using the Reversi skin.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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The Monaboyd.net Archive is Coming to the AO3!

Published: 2015-02-20 12:36:40 -0500

Banner from MonaBoyd.net site of actors Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd

In this post:

Background explanation

Open Doors is pleased to be working with Shirasade to welcome the Monaboyd.net Archive, a Lord of the Rings RPF fan fiction archive focused on the pairing of Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin), to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In its new home, the Monaboyd.net Archive will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction housed on the current archive. We will begin manually importing works from the Monaboyd.net Archive to the AO3 collection in March 2015.

What does this mean for creators who have work on the Monaboyd.net Archive?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your Monaboyd.net Archive works there, please contact Open Doors with your Monaboyd.net Archive pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (Please include "Monaboyd.net" in the subject heading.)

For instructions on mass-adding works to the new collection on the AO3, Monaboyd Archive, please see the Open Doors website.

2. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your Monaboyd.net Archive pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "Monaboyd.net" in the subject heading.)

For instructions on importing works and adding them to the Monaboyd Archive collection, please see the Open Doors website.

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one, as well as assistance importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your Monaboyd.net Archive pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "Monaboyd.net" in the subject heading.)

Once your account is set up, let us know your AO3 name, and we can transfer your works to you once imported.

4. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your Monaboyd.net Archive pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (Please include "Monaboyd.net" in the subject heading.)

If you would not mind your works being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too--we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.

All works imported on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with their name in the byline of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 3 months, unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Monaboyd.net Archive account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's fantastic; if not, we will work with Shirasade, the Monaboyd.net Archive mod, to confirm your claims.)

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of the MonaBoyd.net Archive. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve the Monaboyd.net Archive!

- The Open Doors team

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We Need Volunteers for OTW Committees!

Published: 2015-02-16 12:14:06 -0500

Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

Thank you to those who responded to our most recent call for volunteers. Today, we have another group of committees looking for some additional help and are excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Abuse Committee Staff - closing 23 February UTC
  • AO3 Documentation Volunteers - closing 23 February UTC
  • Communications Chair Track Staff - closing 23 February UTC
  • Wiki Staff - closing 23 February UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Abuse Committee Staff
The Abuse Committee is dedicated to helping users deal with the various situations that may arise. We also handle any complaints that come in about content uploaded to the Archive of Our Own. The team determines if complaints are about legitimate violations of the Terms of Service, and what to do about them if they are; our major goals are to adhere to the TOS, to make our reasoning and processes as clear and transparent as possible, and to keep every individual case completely confidential. We work closely with other AO3 related committees such as Support and Content.

We are seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it's needed. Staffers need to be able to handle complex and sometimes-disturbing content, and must be able to commit a sufficient amount of time to the team on a regular basis.

Abuse staffers are required to spend at least five hours a week handling committee work, though it often tends to be more. Please be sure you can handle the workload before applying.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

AO3 Documentation Volunteer
AO3 Documentation is the workgroup that writes and updates AO3 FAQs and tutorials. We're looking for people who love the Archive of Our Own and who have experience with writing and proofreading user help documentation. If you enjoy helping your fellow fans learn how the AO3 works, please read the full details and apply to join the Docs team!

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

Communications Chair Track Staff
The Communications Committee is the central information distributing arm of the OTW, responsible for the distribution of information internally to OTW personnel and externally to the general public, the media, fans, and other fannish organizations. Communications is also typically the first point of contact for someone interested in or wanting help from OTW, and serves all of the organization's committees and projects. The position of Chair Track Staffer is designed for individuals with ample time to learn all aspects of Communications' activities, and who would like to work toward being considered for the role of chair.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

Wiki Staff
Wiki staff members are responsible for dealing with all the behind the scenes stuff to ensure that Fanlore runs smoothly. We respond to questions and complaints; shape Fanlore policies, categories, and tutorials; assist the gardeners; try to promote Fanlore; plan larger projects, and generally try to be as helpful as possible. No special experience is required, only reliability, the ability to work in a team, and an interest in fannish history and Fanlore in particular.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

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Releases 0.9.47 - 0.9.48: Change Log

Published: 2015-02-16 04:03:48 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Ariana, Elz, james_, Lady Oscar, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Enigel, james_, Scott
  • Testers: Agwen, Anika Kabit, james_, Lady Oscar, Matty, Michelle Dong, mugenmine, mumble, Sarken

Details

Works & Tags

  • No language was being set for imported works, which meant the works would not show up when users filtered by language. Since our code can't detect the language of an imported work, it is now automatically set to English at the time of importing. If necessary, you can change it to the correct language by editing the work.
  • In certain circumstances, it was possible to leave kudos on your own work. This will now trigger an error message and the kudos won't be recorded.
  • The page listing the 20 most recent comments left on works all across the Archive is now only accessible to site admins.
  • Tags that used to be canonical but which were later made synonyms of new canonicals were still appearing in the Top 10 Tags list in the filters. This should no longer happen going forward; however, old instances still need to be cleaned up.

Wording Fixes

  • The browser page title for our 503 error page incorrectly said, "Exceeded maximum downloads per minute." Now it will say, "Page responding too slowly."
  • The help text explaining the "General Audiences" rating has been updated.
  • There was a button and a link on your invitations page that said "Request More," which was confusing/misleading if you'd never requested invitations before. Now it says "Request Invitations."
  • Where "invites" was used as a noun on the site, we have replaced it with the more correct "invitations".
  • The button labels on a user's Manage Invitations page are now capitalized to match our usual style.
  • On the page where creators can claim their works after an Open Doors fanwork archive import, we changed some wording and the link to contact Open Doors.
  • Updated the help message listing the CSS properties that can be used in skins.

Invisible Fixes

  • The code for our Abuse form and Support form has been refactored (rewritten to follow good coding practices), with no changes to functionality.
  • When accessing a single bookmark listing for an external work, there was an extra, empty HTML element on the page. It has been removed.
  • The page that asks you to confirm you are willing to access adult content was missing some HTML tags. They have now been added.
  • We changed our server logs to be angrier and take up less space (i.e. started using the lograge gem for Rails).

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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International Fanworks Day is Here!

Published: 2015-02-14 14:13:06 -0500

Banner by Ania of various fanworks including cosplay, text, and visual art

It's now February 15th in our earliest timezones, which means International Fanworks Day is here! Today is the first annual day to celebrate fanwork of all kinds. Below we have a few things listed that the OTW is sponsoring or connected to but we'd like you to let us know, in comments, about other events and activities you're aware of so that we can signal boost them.

  1. We're hosting a short fanworks challenge, #IFDrabble. Get out your tablet, your laptop, or your phone and write up to 100 words to celebrate fanworks! (Why 100 words?)

    What does your favorite character—or your favorite pairing—get fannish over?

    • Does Tony Stark secretly watch—and love—Transformers fan films?
    • Does Athos ship Aramis/Porthos?
    • Do the members of Shinee cosplay as Final Fantasy characters?

    But our challenge isn’t for writing alone — submit a drawble, a short vid, an audio work or other format for the challenge as well. Just post it today as part of the day of celebration.

    Help us find and share it — tag it #IFDrabble on tumblr, Facebook, Dreamwidth, or wherever you fan. (And if you post it on Archive of Our Own, tag it with the International Fanworks Day 2015 tag.)

    Keep it safe-for-work, and we may give you a signal boost!

  2. Feedback Fest: Everyone who creates and shares fanworks loves hearing from the people who enjoyed it, so we're hosting a Feedback Fest to celebrate the works that we love. Participate by leaving a comment here with a link to fanworks you've left feedback on. This way, you can share what you love about fanworks while encouraging others to leave feedback, too.
  3. On 8 February, we held a live chat on “Why Fanworks Should Be Celebrated”, with authors Cecilia Tan, Tara Sue Me, and Racheline Maltese. All of these authors started out writing fanfiction and have gone on to be published professionally—and they still participate in fanworks. Along with moderator Francesca Coppa, the panelists discussed the value and importance of all kinds of fanworks. If you missed it, you can still read the transcript.
  4. Other folks have been talking about International Fanworks Day. Here are some places to read and hear about it:

We also know about the following fan celebrations:

Tell us about more places where International Fanworks Day is being celebrated!

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog.

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